Today is Mother’s Day. It is a holiday I don’t celebrate. Why? Because I am not a mother. We chose to not have children very early in our marriage. Now 47 years later we have no regrets. I worked with children for 35 years in my career as a speech pathologist. When I came home at night there were other things to do. Also we wanted to travel all over the world and that costs money. Children cost money. Our choices were made. We travelled. We did other things. We do not feel empty at all for not having had children.
Instead we chose to care for animals and have done so for a very long time. We are mother and father to rescued animals since 1977 when we bought our first house in Florida and acquired a dog that had been abused. We had him for the next nine years.
When we moved to Australia we adopted cats and dogs and they have been cared for since 1989 when we bought our house in Tasmania.
We have cleaned up accidents all over the house. We have scraped up hairballs and spit. We have paid enormous amounts in veterinary bills for the previous abuse they received. We have loved them to death. They have loved us to death. We have taught a brain injured cat how to use the litter. We taught him how to walk in a straight line when after his head injury caused by an uncaring man he could only walk in right hand circles. His right eye was saved with help from the vet.
I have rescued countless animals that have been hit by cars or acquired toxoplasmosis from feral cats for Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. We’ve driven them to vets, checked their pouches for joeys and had them humanely euthanised. The world is full of animals to be cared for.
There is a great deal more to life, for us, than caring for children when we feel there are far too many in the world already.
This morning when I turned on facebook I saw numerous posts for mother’s day and I was looking at my bookshelf and wondering if I had any books on the shelf with the word ‘mother’ in it.
I lost my own mother in February of this year. It hasn’t really sunk in yet but I am happy she is finally at peace. She had difficult times in her life and she went out peacefully and I believe happily.
I booted up the Library Thing app and searched my lists of books for the words ‘Mother,’ ‘Mum’ and ‘Mom’. Not surprisingly I only found two books out of the 1200 books on my shelves.
The first one is The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio, How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less by Terry Ryan. I saw this on a shelf years ago and it caught my eye. It is about a woman who enters contest after contest in America and wins money for her entries. There are many contests one can enter, especially in the United States. One must discuss a certain topic in 25 words or less. I have no idea how the winners are picked. Are the entries read? Or are they just picked at random and the winners think they wrote the most clever entry? I have entered a few myself. I thought my answers might be amusing or different and the prize would be winging its way to me. I thought they would certainly stand out. They didn’t. Or my number was just never picked. I’m still waiting to win the prize.
The second novel on my shelf is The Glass Mother by Rosie Jackson. This novel is the personal story of her academic success and career at the University of East Anglia, her separation from her son when he was three, her travels, spiritual journey and ultimate reconciliation and reparation with her son. This according to her publishers website. I have not read this book but I think I will take it off the shelf today and begin it. I was wondering what book to read next. This sounds interesting and it is definitely one I haven’t read yet.
So to all of those mothers out there who do have children I’d like to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. I hope your experiences with your children have been all you wanted. I hope you have a wonderful relationship with them and they bring you the happiness. I think motherhood is one of the hardest jobs on earth.
And to all of you who don’t have children but are mother to fur kids, I hope those relationships bring you satisfaction and happiness and not too much sadness.
Whatever choices you have made for yourself throughout life I wish you a glorious spring or autumn day (depending on which hemisphere you live in) and it all goes to plan. There is so much to enjoy in life whether you have children or not.
By the way- what books do you have on your shelf with the words, ‘mother’, ‘mum’ or ‘mom’ in the title? I’d love to know.